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Cheaper EpiPen Rival
This image provided by Sandoz Inc. shows a new epinephrine injector by Sandoz, Inc. Amid persistent shortages of EpiPens and other emergency autoinjectors that treat life-threatening allergic reactions, generic drugmaker Sandoz says that early next year, it will launch a slightly cheaper rival in the U.S. Sandoz said Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, that it plans to sell a pair of its generic autoinjectors for $250 without insurance. (Sandoz Inc. via AP)

Drugmaker to provide generic, cheaper rival to EpiPen injectors

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By LINDA A. JOHNSON, AP Medical Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Generic drugmaker Sandoz announced plans Thursday to start selling a slightly cheaper version of the EpiPen in the U.S. early next year.

The penlike injectors are used to halt life-threatening allergic reactions to insect bites, nuts and other foods. Brand-name EpiPen, which dominates the market, has been in short supply since spring because of production problems.

Sandoz will sell a pair of injectors, under the name Symjepi, for $250 without insurance. Two other generics on the market in the U.S. cost $300 per pair, including one from EpiPen seller Mylan. The company started selling its own generic after it was blasted for repeated hikes that pushed up its list price from $94 to $608 for a pair of brand-name EpiPens.

What people pay varies, though, depending on insurance, discounts and the pharmacy.

EpiPen
FILE - This Oct. 10, 2013 file photo shows an EpiPen epinephrine autoinjector. The penlike injectors are used to halt life-threatening allergic reactions to insect bites, nuts and other foods. Brand-name EpiPen, which dominates the market, has been in short supply since this past spring because of production problems. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

Mylan's injectors are made by a subsidiary of Pfizer, which is upgrading factories to fix quality problems. That resulted in production slowdowns. Pfizer said Thursday it's shipping some injectors and expects to ship more in the coming months.

The shortages triggered temporary shortages of alternative products. As a result, U.S. regulators let some manufacturers extend expiration dates.

Sandox, part of Novartis AG., will sell adult injectors made by Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp. A children's version will follow.

Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries began selling limited quantities of its new generic EpiPen in the U.S. last week.
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In a previous version of this story,, The Associated Press reported erroneously that emergency allergy injector Auvi-Q was among products that had shortages because of an EpiPen shortage. Auvi-Q did not have shortages.

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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